March 20, 2008, the first day of spring, marks the second annual
National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. This is an important day to encourage American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians to learn more and educate others about HIV/AIDS, encourage HIV counseling and testing options in Native communities, and initiate the process of decreasing the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
In 2005, American Indians and Alaska Natives had the 3rd highest rate of AIDS diagnoses, after blacks and Latinos. Even though these groups represent a small portion of the US population and therefore, a small percentage of overall HIV/AIDS cases, the HIV/AIDS epidemic remains a serious health threat to Native communities.
In many cultures, spring represents a time of equality and balance and is a time of profound change, new beginnings, and birth. For these reasons, the first day of spring was chosen for National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. This day will be a time to reflect on those who have passed, those who are infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, as well as a celebration of life for all Native people with the theme of "Protecting Our Future, Protecting Our People!"
For more information
Additional Resources from CDC: